According to research from the Produce for Better Health Foundation, “Those who eat fruits and veggies daily are significantly more likely to report being satisfied with their life as a whole.” So what better way to improve mood than by adding a fruit-centered dessert to your day? Incorporating nature’s candy with these fun ideas is a one-two punch for better health and rounding out any meal.

Frozen Fruit

Besides making sweet smoothies and smoothie pops, frozen fruits like berries can become a wonderful dessert ingredient. Defrost, lightly mash and you’ve got an instant berry topper, filling or mix in.

Canned Fruit

Applesauce is great for baking because you can use it in recipes to bump up fruit content while reducing ingredients like oil (replace 1:1) or sugar (replace 1:1 and reduce liquids by ¼ for every cup sugar replaced). But don’t stop there! Top canned peaches with a simple oat crumble topping and bake for a real warm-your-belly treat. Dried Fruit – Incorporating raisins or chopped dried plums, mangos or apricots to desserts adds a delicious chewy surprise to recipes. Plus, they pack a powerful punch – just ¼-cup dried fruit counts as ½ -cup serving from the Fruit Food Group. For a simple sweet and salty treat, mix your favorite dried fruit with nuts, chocolate chips and pretzels.

Fresh Fruit

Whether serving biscuits with sliced strawberries, honey poached pears or sautéed apples using the delicious recipe below, making fresh fruit the star of dessert couldn’t be easier. Grilling fruit brings out natural sweetness and can be done indoors, too. Brush fruit like pineapple or peaches lightly with oil and sear on a hot grill pan for about 3 minutes each side.

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